Reading to your kids

Today, Florence schools are celebrating “Read Across America” day to promote literacy in children. What a great goal! Reading is a great pastime with numerous benefits. It’s free, it’s entertaining, and it is a critical skill for school and work success.

Do you read to your children?

No matter how young or old your child is, it’s never too late to start reading to them or with them. Your child may be too young to understand the words, but they are still learning, growing, and exploring the world. Reading to them builds a positive relationship, promotes their speech and communication skills, and builds skills with concentration and logical thinking. It creates a safe space for your child to explore new ideas and ask questions.

How to encourage reading

You may love curling up with a good book, or perhaps find yourself too busy or immediately feeling bored the minute you lift the book cover. But there are simple, quick, fun ways to start reading with your children. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Put books out around the house – if you see them, you’re more likely to read them
  • Visit the public library – millions of books and magazines, for free!
  • Let your child pick out something that looks fun – read out loud to each other, or read separately and then discuss over an ice cream treat
  • Follow their school curriculum – undoubtedly, your child is reading something for school; read it with them or ask them to tell you what it’s about
  • Write a story together – stretch your and your child’s creativity and writing skills, and then they could stage a reading to other friends and family
  • Start with a short story, magazine, or online video that promotes reading – if this is new to your family, start small and build your way up
  • Be okay with silence – technology and social media create a lot of “noise” around us; it may feel strange to sit still and silently read, but remind your family that this is okay and that it’s worth it. Start with a few minutes of reading at a time and become comfortable with the experience.